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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 07-08-2012
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Offshore Checklist

Here's a checklist I put together a couple of years ago to use before setting out away from shore. Any additions or comments welcome.

OFFSHORE CHECKLIST

Trysail rigged w/ sheets/ready
Storm jib rigged w/ sheets and ready
Floorboards screwed down
Life raft up on deck and secured
Ditch bag stocked (see separate list) just inside hatch
Pail on deck
Jacklines checked and ready
Everything secured down below
Sea anchor accessible, rigged, and ready
Solar panels on mount and plugged in
All hatches/ports closed and tight
Emergency porthole boards accessible and ready
Companionway boards in
Companionway cloth on
Lee cloth on
Normal on-deck stuff up (print charts, food, coffee, GPS, harness, jacket, water, food, clothes, raingear, binocs., etc.)
*see separate list*
Batteries on "HOUSE" only.
Manual pump check, handles accessible
Winch handles up
Elec. pump check
Water check
Fuel check
Rigging check
Anchor stowed
RIB deflated and stowed
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Thought I had replied to your message but somehow it did not get posted. Perhaps this should be in the general or cruising sections since seamanship seems to get ignored (here and in real life!).

A few comments came to mind. There is not something called 'offshore' since there are variations on the theme. The preps I will make to go to Indonesia in a few weeks (430 nm at around 10°S) are quite different than will be the case when we go from Bali to Mauritius (3000 nm and getting down to around 30°S. For the latter I will have the trysail and a staysail ready to go (it is not much larger than the storm jib) on deck but these will be in the locker for the Indonesia crossing as the biggest problem is likely too little wind. Tropical sun is very hard on everything so why add to the wear and tear. Same thoughts about the sea anchor. We have not used sea anchor, trysail, or storm jib yet, but can if needed, but don't have them on deck.

Other thoughts - you will be in and out of cabin constantly in 90%+ of the conditions you will get so you don't really need to have everything on deck and seal away the interior. Take stuff in and out as you need.

Not sure what you mean by anchor stowed? You do not want to have it inaccessible, especially if you are going to be anchoring where you are going. Conditions outside that anchorage likely will make it very hard.impossible to rig the anchor while it may be too crowded to do so in the anchorage. Our main anchor lives on the roller and is tied down well there.

I would not be happy having the floorboards screwed down since you may have to go under them for routine or emergency reasons. We have a shock cord system that keeps them under control but still removable. BTW, when we were knocked down, the boards were not tied down and did not move. Will have them tied down going to South Africa though.

Not sure what the pail is for? Strikes me as just something else to get in the way.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Since I sail single-handed almost all the time, having things in the cockpit is the only option. Often there is no way to get below to retrieve anything until/if I can get the windvane set. You can imagine why the bucket is on deck:-) The anchor would only be stowed below if doing a major crossing. I think getting it out of the way is a good idea so that there is no possibility of it breaking loose and to clear the foredeck to use the sea anchor if necessary. Great idea about the bungee cords on hatches! Think I will do that instead of using the screws. You're absolutely right about it not being the best idea to cut off quick access to the bilge. It has always bothered me to screw them down but I have so much stuff down there that keeping it from getting out and flying around in a knockdown has been the priority. Items on the list can surely be adjusted depending on how far "offshore." I guess my idea of offshore is anywhere out of sight of land where you will be out over night(s). Killarney_sailor, if you use a SSB/Pactor/Sailmail, would be interested to know how your reception and transmission has been way out in the Pacific.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

I had a look at your check list and found it a bit over the top,

OFFSHORE CHECKLIST

Trysail rigged w/ sheets/ready stowed but ready as it always is
Storm jib rigged w/ sheets and ready stowed but ready as it always is
Floorboards screwed down Not screwed but secure
Life raft up on deck and secured stowed but ready as it always is
Ditch bag stocked (see separate list) just inside hatch stowed in its usual place and ready as it always is
Pail on deck Bucket with fishing gear in cockpit
Jacklines checked and ready This is a given
Everything secured down below This is a given but stuff still moves
Sea anchor accessible, rigged, and ready stowed but ready as it always is
Solar panels on mount and plugged in If its not permanent it shouldn't be here
All hatches/ports closed and tight Given
Emergency porthole boards accessible and ready If you have them
Companionway boards in Why ?
Companionway cloth on stowed but ready as it always is
Lee cloth on Given
Normal on-deck stuff up (print charts, food, coffee, GPS, harness, jacket, water, food, clothes, raingear, binocs., etc.) Don't you have a cabin
*see separate list*
Batteries on "HOUSE" only. ?
Manual pump check, handles accessible As it always should be
Winch handles up
Elec. pump check
Water check
Fuel check
Rigging check
Anchor stowed leave it where it belongs on the bow but lashed
RIB deflated and stowed
Given
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Hey smurphny, Thanks for your insight on your offshore checklist....not everyone who participates in these forums has had the opportunity to sail offshore. They "glean" whatever they can from those of us that do have specific knowledge to share. SimonV, I agree with you to an extent about the checklist being a bit excessive, but in fairness, singlehanding has it's own set of rules of engagement, so to speak.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Simon, the nature of a checklist is to double-check that, as you say, the things that are "ready as always," are in fact ready. It's the same as on an aircraft: you know things are ready but you check them anyway. Without a checklist, it is almost a given that something essential will be forgotten. You shouldn't have to ask, going offshore why the companionway should be closed with at least enough boards in so the wave that surprises you and rolls into the cockpit does not get below but can exit through scuppers. Some may find checklists like this over the top but I do not. We'll just have to disagree about getting the anchor out of the way, and the hawser pipe closed off.
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

[/COLOR]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I had a look at your check list and found it a bit over the top,

OFFSHORE CHECKLIST

Trysail rigged w/ sheets/ready stowed but ready as it always isI would like to have and try a trisail. If I had to guess the vast majority of offshore cruisers don't carry one these days. The Pardeys and others make a great case for one however. All who use them say you want to have a dedicated track on the mast
Storm jib rigged w/ sheets and ready much the same issue. With furling headsails, your storm jib is going to be an ATN. Rigged with sheets? I dunno how you do that. This is a sailing offshore list, not a prep for heavy wx once offshore list, right?stowed but ready as it always is
Floorboards screwed down Not screwed but secureI agree secure is probably the standard. Goes for battery boxes and everything else on the boat. Watch those crash test dummy boat vids on youtube
Life raft up on deck and secured stowed but ready as it always isI think there is a good case to be made that your life raft ought to be stored off-deck. that is a different discussion. Mine is currently on deck, but I may move it so it is more easily accessible from the cockpit, less vulnerable to boarding waves and "where I want it when I need it"
Ditch bag stocked (see separate list) just inside hatch stowed in its usual place and ready as it always is
Pail on deck Bucket with fishing gear in cockpitdon't understand this?
Jacklines checked and ready This is a given
Everything secured down below This is a given but stuff still moves
Sea anchor accessible, rigged, and ready stowed but ready as it always isAgain, this is the Pardeys' territory. Make sure you know how to use that equipment if you have it high on your "go to" list ICE
Solar panels on mount and plugged in If its not permanent it shouldn't be hereEvereything on deck has to be secure and in a place where it won't be a liability to the security of the boat and rig . . . doger, bimini, panels, jugs of fuel, dinghy, extra ground tackle, etc
All hatches/ports closed and tight Givenadd duck tape where sheets can engage hatches - tape down hawse pipes etc
Emergency porthole boards accessible and ready If you have themadd have a second set of companionway boards or something to suffice as a second set - on my "to do" list
Companionway boards in Why ?
Companionway cloth on stowed but ready as it always is
Lee cloth on Given
Normal on-deck stuff up (print charts, food, coffee, GPS, harness, jacket, water, food, clothes, raingear, binocs., etc.) Don't you have a cabin not sure what is offshore about this? I have a "go bag" that has all the sailing stuff that comes to the cockpit whenever I move. Charts I make extra effort to protect offshore
*see separate list*
Batteries on "HOUSE" only. ??
Manual pump check, handles accessible As it always should be
Winch handles up
Elec. pump check
Water check
Fuel check
Rigging check
Anchor stowed leave it where it belongs on the bow but lashedI don't take my anchor off the bow - when I need it, I want it there. I don't even lash it down until I am safely offshore
RIB deflated and stowed
Given
dinks dictate where they go - unfortunate reality

I'd add check your spares list; do what your boat requires to manage through hulls and potential syphons; check batteries for ditch bag and emergency items; float plan / notify ICE contact; it seems like there is a lot more, but I tend to work from trip specific lists. Overall, I don't think your list is over the top, but maybe focused a little differently than I would. That's a little sloppy, but most of my comments are in blue above. -) Matt
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I had a look at your check list and found it a bit over the top,

OFFSHORE CHECKLIST

Trysail rigged w/ sheets/ready stowed but ready as it always is
Storm jib rigged w/ sheets and ready stowed but ready as it always is
Floorboards screwed down Not screwed but secure
Life raft up on deck and secured stowed but ready as it always is
Ditch bag stocked (see separate list) just inside hatch stowed in its usual place and ready as it always is
Pail on deck Bucket with fishing gear in cockpit
Jacklines checked and ready This is a given
Everything secured down below This is a given but stuff still moves
Sea anchor accessible, rigged, and ready stowed but ready as it always is
Solar panels on mount and plugged in If its not permanent it shouldn't be here
All hatches/ports closed and tight Given
Emergency porthole boards accessible and ready If you have them
Companionway boards in Why ?
Companionway cloth on stowed but ready as it always is
Lee cloth on Given
Normal on-deck stuff up (print charts, food, coffee, GPS, harness, jacket, water, food, clothes, raingear, binocs., etc.) Don't you have a cabin
*see separate list*
Batteries on "HOUSE" only. ?
Manual pump check, handles accessible As it always should be
Winch handles up
Elec. pump check
Water check
Fuel check
Rigging check
Anchor stowed leave it where it belongs on the bow but lashed
RIB deflated and stowed
Given
Interesting thread.

Given the cruising miles logged by those involved so far i'm sat here with my popcorn and a notepad

I have yet to cross an ocean, all my sailing so has been coastal but is it odd that I do at least 80% of the above for a coastal passage?
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Last edited by chall03; 07-09-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Sheets inspected and led properly
Spare lube oil
Shaft lubed
Gas for stove
Outbgoard fuel, securely tightened down
Test instrumernts and radio
Weather forecast
Time of HW and LW
Chart on board, Track on chart for departure
Cell phone, ID, wallet properly stowed
Cruise plan left with someone, USCG other authotity
Engine, belts OK, strainer clear, operating normally after starting
Crew instructed on
Lifejackets, harnesses, liferaft, fire extinguishers, man overboard, flares, how to make VHF emergency call, location of thru hull vlaves, reefing arrangement.
Advised of ang med conditions meds on board
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Some good additions. What do you do with the outboard? Plotting fall off destinations is very important -- noting tides and important details for each port

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltthesalt View Post
Sheets inspected and led properly
Spare lube oil
Shaft lubed
Gas for stove
Outbgoard fuel, securely tightened down
Test instrumernts and radio
Weather forecast
Time of HW and LW
Chart on board, Track on chart for departure
Cell phone, ID, wallet properly stowed
Cruise plan left with someone, USCG other authotity
Engine, belts OK, strainer clear, operating normally after starting
Crew instructed on
Lifejackets, harnesses, liferaft, fire extinguishers, man overboard, flares, how to make VHF emergency call, location of thru hull vlaves, reefing arrangement.
Advised of ang med conditions meds on board
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